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Stage of Company

When you are thinking about your career, it is important to:


This table helps you clarify what stage to focus on.   When you are communicating your stage focus to others, we recommend using FTE ranges because people typically don’t know the financing or revenue details of a company

Stage

Round

Revenues

FTEs

Focused on

Typical Roles Hired at Stage

Startup

Seed

<$1M

5-30

Product-market fit

 

Early

A

<$3M

30-80

Channel-market fit

VP of Sales

Early

B

$5-20M

100-200

 

VP of Marketing

Mid

C

$15-25m

150-400

 

CRO, VP RevOps

Mid

D

$25-100m

400-1k

 

 

Late

E+

$100m+

1k+

 

 

What stage fits you?

  • Startup (Everyone has a dog and someone makes cookies every Friday)  Hungry generalists who are uncomfortable being bored and secretly enjoy a little chaos. They probably did poorly in school (despite their high test scores), but instead got really into arcane subjects like Russian History.   

  • Early (There's too many dogs. How can we decide who gets to bring a dog in? Also, who ate all the friggin cookies that clearly had my name on them)  Can the person succeed in chaos/lack of structure? The person needs to be willing to wear multiple hats, work hard, iterate, fail fast, pivot, etc. None of this intimidates them…they thrive in it.  They flourish in lack of structure, are resourceful and scrappy and can develop processes and drive operational efficiencies.  They can juggle multiple buyer personas and KPIs.   

  • Mid (We can't bring dogs in anymore because of the "chocolate incident". Somebody writes a negative review on Glassdoor about how there used to be cookies) can this person take lessons they learned and develop repeatable processes for scale?  As the company is maturing, there are more leaders and departments so this person will need to have the ability to work cross departmentally and be flexible/welcoming to feedback.  Executive team that can scale globally and through an acquisition is important, so things get more complex. Many of your early-stage leadership can't hang here, so you'll need to figure out what to do with them. 

  • Late (There is now an "Official Cookie Policy") Bureaucracy kicks in. People have to be good at advocating and communicating business strategy with clear business cases/justification. There’s a lot of managing up/managing sideways/managing down, etc., more so than at the earlier stages.  It starts to take a long time to get things done here. Departmental silos and knowledge gaps start to materialize.


Don't know what you want in your next role?


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